‘V-shaped recovery masks wildly divergent retail performance’

Kien Tan

Not a day seems to have passed recently without a CVA or job losses from one retailer or another as a result of the lower footfall, lower spend and acceleration in shift online caused by the pandemic.

Non-grocery retail suffered an almost 40% decline in weekly sales between January and April this year, which makes the worst shocks of the global financial crisis pale in comparison.

Yet, just two months later, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported a 1.5% year-on-year rise in retail sales in June.

In fact, on a seasonally adjusted value basis excluding fuel, average weekly retail sales were the highest ever recorded, exceeding pre-lockdown levels.

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